A battle of Armageddon is, as the name implies, a conflict mentioned in Revelation, which takes place in the last moments before the new earth and also the new heaven. It is a dosra. It is one of the fragments of the Bible that seems to have managed to capture the attention of many believers, and non-believers alike.

From the movie titles to the book plots and media to the explicit name "Armageddon," we can make the assumption that it is a great battle (The Last Battle, if you will) that takes place in the final days, "before the new heaven and the new earth" (Revelation 21:1). The correct word for "Armageddon" appears only once in the book of the Bible, in Revelation 16:16.

What is the Battle of Armageddon? 

Revelation 16:16 describes what happens later, when God pours out the sixth bowl of wrath (which comprises one of the plagues that run through the contents of Revelation). The Antichrist then goes on to gather "kings" at a place called Armageddon. The kings, with great loyalty to the Antichrist, will gather together through their armies to go to war against God's people.

We get hints of the battle precisely in Revelation 16:14 and also in 20:7-9, where the Enemy gathers with his own, arranged by the world. It is explained that they will surround the camp of those who believe in God. However, fire from heaven will consume them.

Where will the Battle of Armageddon take place?

In fact, it is possible to find some evidence of context for the Old Testament biblical conflict. While there is not actually an exact location for Armageddon, there is an assumption from the nomenclature "hill" or "hill," of the likelihood of the battle taking place on a hill. Therefore, one can place the war at an average of sixty miles north of Jerusalem, where:

  • Barak fought the Canaanites, a people famous for experiencing depravity (Judges 4:15);
  • Saul and his sons eventually perished in war (Samuel 31:8) as opposed to the Philistines, one of the enemies we are most familiar with and also one of Israel's most infamous;
  • Pharaoh Neco of Egypt, who Israel went through a tumultuous plot, eventually killed Josiah, one of the rare kings with kindness, of Judah, who returned the Land to God (Chronicles 35:22).

In this case, it may make some sense to put the war there because of Israel's history. It is a symbol of a holy people coming in combat against the enemies of darkness.

It is also known that God finally wins this battle, although the enemy is luring various individuals from all ends of the earth to the Euphrates crossroads for the destruction of God's people.

When is the Battle of Armageddon?

Even though Armageddon may be similar decades or hundreds of years away, it is not possible to know when Jesus will return or when such events of Revelation will take place.

The Meaning of Armageddon in the Bible from Modern Times

Scholars debate the precise meaning of the name Armageddon. The Greek word that John uses is harmagedôn but he tells us that it is of Hebrew or Aramaic origin. The term har means "mountain," and Megiddo was an ancient city in Israel, so most scholars understand that Armageddon means "the mountain of Megiddo.

Megiddo lies in the middle of a valley. As an ancient settlement that predates the founding of Israel, it has been rebuilt several times, resulting in an artificial hill made up of residues from all its previous versions. 

This artificial hill may be the "mount" to which John refers. Alternatively, some scholars suggest that it may be a real mountain that lies near Megiddo, such as Mount Carmel.

Whatever the case, Megiddo has a long history as a battle site. It was a strategically important site, and numerous battles were fought there, both before and after the founding of Israel. The revelation, therefore, invokes its history as a war site.

The question is how literally the conflict involving Megiddo and Armageddon is to be understood. Many pre-millennialists - and especially dispensationalists - see it as a literal military conflict that will occur in Israel, with forces led by the Antichrist, just before the beginning of Christ's earthly reign in the millennium.

However, there will not be an earthly reign of Christ before the end of the world. Instead, the millennium is best understood as Christ's reign taking place now in heaven and, through his Church, on earth (Catechism the Catholic Church). The battle of Armageddon, therefore, can be understood as related to the Jewish War of the 60s AD, when the forces of pagan Rome ("the beast") attacked Jerusalem and destroyed its temple.

Alternatively, it can be understood not as a literal military conflict, but as a spiritual conflict between the forces of paganism and the gospel that led to the devil being bound so that he could not prevent the proclamation of Christ to the nations. Revelation would be describing this spiritual conflict in military terms and drawing on the story of Megiddo as a war site as part of that picture.

However Armageddon is understood, Revelation predicts a future conflict at the end of the Christian era, and it may involve both military and spiritual elements, including the involvement of the Antichrist.